Considering A-Fib ablation surgey

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pondering ablation #1
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/13/2012 10:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Greetings,
I'm a (64) y/o male who's been dealing with A-fib for the past two years.
I've have over ten eposides which lasted one to two days. I've been C/V'd once. I'm currently on Beta Blockers and Rythmol 3 x a day and blood thinners.
I'm "on the fence" about having ablation surgery. I understand the risks, but the trade off for me would be the freedom to exercise and not have to take all the medication I'm currently on ( blood thinners are the worst for me)
I've been reading many posts and have noticed more than one story with an unhappy ending, i.e. multible abalations, shortness of breath, etc.
Right now I can work full time (tool design engineer) and function. I'd appeciate anyones opinion on the risk of having the ablation proceedure. My E.P. doctor has approved the operation, I've met my insurance companies criteria for having the surgey. I'm "on the fence"
 
Thanks, bulldog64

CelineMedic
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/13/2012 3:36 PM (GMT -6)   
hey Bulldog64,

I recently had an ablation (2 months ago) so I know the struggle with making the decision. I don't want to scare you but I will tell you my ablation story.

Im a 28 year old female, very active and work as a paramedic. I have been struggling with arrhythmias for the last 5 years which have progressively been getting worse. Over the last year I have gone into atrial flutter, SVT and atrial fibrillation on multiple occasions. I was taking metoprolol and flecainide, which seemed to work at first but my body slowly started getting used to the medication and the arrhythmias came back. I decided enough was enough, and was missing my active lifestyle too much so I decided to bite the bullet and go for the ablation. The procedure itself wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. It took almost 5 hours in total and took my EP Dr 4 hours to finally figure out where the electrical pathways were going wrong. They ablated a couple different pathways, however at the end of it all he wasn't totally confident that this ablation procedure was successful.

Recovery was a breeze and I was feeling great a couple days post procedure. However 2 weeks later I started to develop chest pain. Went back in to the hospital to discover that I had developed a pulmonary embolism as a result of the ablation. Ended up being hospitalized for 10 days, and the recovery from a PE has been very difficult. Short of breath, chest pain and absolutely no energy. The initial plan of being off work for 2 weeks for the ablation had now turned into a month and a half.

I finally thought I was all healed up and on the upslope of this whole ordeal. I was scheduled to return to work yesterday. BUT as my luck has it, 1 week ago the arrhythmias started again. However this time they are much worse. I am going into PVC bigeminy now for 12 hours at a time. I thought a-fib was a horrible feeling, that doesn't even compare to the PVCs!! so back on the metoprolol I go, my dose is now doubled from prior to the ablation and it wasn't even coming close to suppressing the arrhythmias. So now I am back on the flecainide as well. Not to mention the warfarin I will be taking for the next year as a result of the PE. I have my fingers crossed that these arrhythmias are a result of an "irritated" heart from the ablation. I was told it can take as long as 6 months-1 year to know if the ablation truly was successful.

I don't want to scare you out of the ablation however I want you to be prepared for the possible complications. Developing a pulmonary embolism post ablation is very very rare, Im just one of the lucky ones. However be prepared that if the ablation is unsuccessful you can develop different or worse arrhythmias. I have heard a lot of successful ablation stories as well as a lot of unsuccessful stories. It all comes down to weighing the risks over benefit. Good luck with whatever you decide!!

CelineMedic

pondering ablation #1
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/14/2012 7:09 AM (GMT -6)   
 
CelineMedic,
 
Thanks for sharing your experiences with me. Yesterday I spoke to an  ex-colleague that has been in and out of A-Fib four the last four years.
He's (54) y/o and has had three ablations and one "maze" procedure.
The first ablation yielded two hours of normal sinus rhythm, two months later the second ablation yielded an infection and five days in the hospital, which left him in A-fib. The third procedure was the "maze".
No postive results. Last March he changed E.P. doctors and had this third ablation. This one lasted until last week. All this time he's been on varoius medications and doesn't feel well (he's a new car salesman).
My original intention was to seek out a new procedure they're offering here in my area "heart lite" study. This study is still in a clinical trial state. They use a "ballon" inflator and laser. They're claiming 90% + success rates. I went in to see if I qualified and was acccepted. Here's my concern, since it's still a study, only 50% of the patients are accepted.A computer decides who gets the modern laser ablation treatment, the other 50% gets the standard ablation. They won't tell you until after the operation. It's going to be one year before the F.D.A. reviews and hopefully approves the procedure. That's the "fence" I'm on, I'm leaning toward "wait and see".
Thanks again to responding to my post. I wish you the best and hope your condition stablizes. Wishing you a great Holiday.
bulldog64
 
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